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Locals look to support Fiji cyclone victims

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by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

Members of the local group Friends of Fiji have started a relief effort for victims of Cyclone Mick that ravaged homes and crops with nearly 100-mph winds Dec. 14 in Fiji.

Connie Durant, tour director for Kadavu Connection, was told through a Fijian contact that a village on Kadavu Island was devastated by high winds and water.

In July, Durant took a group of 17 people, mostly teens from Sequim, to Kadavu Island to experience a traditional culture and for relief effort. They brought $9,000 worth of needed items including six laptops and art supplies to help the local schools.

“The Fijians gather their food on a daily basis and with the seas so rough and the plantations ruined, they are struggling for food,” she said.

“What I see is that the need is tremendous in how far reaching it is.”

Through a phone campaign, the group raised $1,040 in one day after hearing about the storm.
Their goal is $5,000. 

Donations will go through the Kadavu Connection board of directors in Fiji to a fund called Cyclone Project, recognized by the District Provincial Council and the Fijian government.

Funds will be distributed based on need determined by a Kadavu Connection board member plus the district representative from each of the two villages affected.

“Every little bit helps a lot; even $10 will buy 10 pounds of flour,” Durant said. 

Donations for the Kadavu Island relief effort can be made out to Kadavu Connection and sent to Connie Durant at 123 Old Dads Road, Sequim, WA 98382.

Durant can be reached at 683-2249 or Masima5@yahoo.com. More information can be found at www.kadavuconnection.org.

Since 2004, Kadavu Connection has helped 40 children go to high school with a school boarding-fee sponsorship program. Secondary students go to boarding schools that cost more than families can afford.

In November, the group sponsored a 10-day spay/neuter clinic for animals that was valued at $2,000 and served more than 10 villages.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.


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